Maternal and Child Health
Approximately two million under-5 children die in India every year (UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report, 2007). This represents about one-fourth of the global burden of infant and child deaths. Adding to this, is the poor status of maternal mortality in India (over 100,000 women a year), which also accounts for almost one-fourth of the world’s maternal deaths.
India faces the enormous challenge of reducing infant mortality from 53 per 1000 live births to less than 30 and maternal mortality from 254 per 1,00,000 live births to less than 100 by 2015.
Towards a healthy family
Maternal and child health (MCH) is an integral part of our efforts. We have worked to strongly advocate and place on the national agenda the issue that children have a basic right to live, and live well, and that this right should be recognized by both, the family and the state.We emphasize on the care of the newborn, encouraging the adoption and strengthening of both, home-based (community-based) and facility-based services for maximum outreach.
Learning from national and international experience, we expanded our vision and adopted a lifecycle approach to Reproductive and Child Health (RCH), focusing on adolescents too, in addition to women and children.
At the national and state levels we-
- Play a key advocacy role for MCH, deriving strength from the field
- Undertake and support a large number of action research projects
- Publish key analytical documents, highlighting MCH concerns, emphasizing the need for change based on hard evidence
- Provide technical support to the government for strengthening its MCH initiatives including undertaking evaluations of health programmes run by it. Evaluation of the Maternity Benefit Scheme (Janani Suraksha Yojana) in Jharkhand and Phase II of the nationwide behaviour change communication (BCC) campaign, under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) are two recent studies undertaken.
At the district and sub-district levels we-
- Provide technical and financial support to civil society organizations for the implementation of MCH projects
- Focus on strengthening monitoring mechanisms
Support pre-project surveys and post-project evaluations that focus on
- the demographic impact of interventions and
- the impact on the quality of healthcare.
Our field-level interventions are directed towards strengthening the delivery of health services as well as improving awareness and empowering women to adopt safe motherhood and childcare practices, primarily through capacity building and BCC.
We, through our partner organizations, have also been working towards improving male participation in MCH programmes and in empowering self-help groups (SHGs) to take on MCH activities. For we believe economic empowerment makes women effective decision-makers, especially for their own health and that of their children.
Important MCH indicators
Current Status vs. Goals:
|Current Tenth Five Year Plan||NPP2010||MDGs2015|
|IMR||53 (SRS 2009)||45||30|
|NMR||36 (SRS 2007)||26||20|
|MMR||254 (SRS 2004-2006)||200||100|
IMR,NMR-per 1000 live births; MMR per 1,00,000 live births
Note: IMR – Infant Mortality Rate; NMR – Neonatal Mortality Rate; MMR – Maternal Mortality Ratio, SRS – Sample Registration Survey; NPP – National Population Policy; MDG – Millennium Development Goals